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Fighting Music Piracy with Glue

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the morons-morons-morons dept.

Music 610

Scott Granneman writes: "The New York Times (Free Blah-di-blah) is reporting that Epic Records, in an effort to prevent reviewers from creating mp3s or even playing the preview CD in anything they don't control, is not disseminating the new Pearl Jam and Tori Amos CDs inside Sony Walkman players that are glued shut. Oh yeah ... the headphones are glued to the players too, to prevent any authorized output. A low-tech answer to a high-tech issue."

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sticky (-1)

posmon (516207) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264466)

like my pants

I'm a bit confused... (-1, Offtopic)

zorg50 (581726) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264467)

not = now right? And if so, good luck to them if it'll keep them off of our backs for a little bit longer.

Are they sure it'll be enough? (-1, Troll)

Zeddicus_Z (214454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264470)

Restricting distribution of Tori Amos CDs by gluing them inside a walkman...

Are they sure it's enough to prevent her latest un-named terror from spreading into the general populace?

This isnt Intellectual Property control. It's quality control!

Troll? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264556)

I thought you were funny, but then I don't huff shitloads of oven cleaner before I moderate. Next time, try to be a bit slower and blander.

Maybe the good moderator is just upset in general about the waste of glue?

That's really stupid (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264473)

What prevents me from cutting the cable and link the walkman to my soundcard's audio input to make a copy?

Re:That's really stupid (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264566)

Are you a music reviewer ?
BTW, you'd better just pick some pin through the cable plastic in order to derivate the signal to wherever you'd like it.
Afterward you may still heat the plastic to hide the pinhole...

From the article (5, Funny)

alnapp (321260) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264474)

"I brought this discman home with me, and I found a way you could go in the back of the CD and, like, pop it open. So I got the actual disc out."

So, they can't even use glue properly, its not wonder everything else has failed.

Ed. (5, Informative)

dr_strang (32799) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264475)

Let me edit this to make it actually make some sense :

"The New York Times (Free Blah-di-blah) is reporting that Epic Records, in an effort to prevent reviewers from creating mp3s or even playing the preview CD in anything they don't control, is now disseminating the new Pearl Jam and Tori Amos CDs inside Sony Walkman players that are glued shut. Oh yeah ... the headphones are glued to the players too, to prevent any unauthorized output. A low-tech answer to a high-tech issue."

Re:Ed. (5, Funny)

OrangeSpyderMan (589635) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264505)

No, no, you don't understand. All Slashdot [posts/drivels]* are [reviewed/skimmed over]* by a group of [editors/blind chimps]* before appearing on the site - so they're all [high quality/riddled with mistakes]*, and guaranteed to be [of interest/reposts]* by the time they reach your [desktop/wastepaper basket]*

*Delete as applicable

Re:Ed. (4, Funny)

lyonsden (543685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264597)

I thought it was apropos that the origional posting came from the morons-morons-morons department.

Wire cutters and some speaker wire... (0, Redundant)

Froobly (206960) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264477)

They went to all this trouble to remove the analog loophole, going so far as to permanently attach the headphones...

But what's to prevent somebody from just cutting off the headphones and splicing another cable onto the end? It's trivial work for anyone with even the slightest bit of electrical ability.

Re:Wire cutters and some speaker wire... (3, Informative)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264512)

Nothing. However, then they would know that there was an attempt at access. To them, clipping the wires is the same as breaking the case to get to the CD. Think about it. If Sony gets the Walkman back with any kind of damage, then they have a good idea where to look when the CD shows up online before it is released.

--Mike

Re:Wire cutters and some speaker wire... (3, Funny)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264515)

I'm sorry, your post is in violation of the DMCA. Please turn yourself in to the authorities immediately.

nothing new (2, Funny)

malus (6786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264478)

according to my girlfriend, a RABID Tori Amos fan, this is nothing new. She's apparently always done this.

Not that it matters, though, as I've had 7 tracks from Scarlet's Walk for well over two months now...

Re:nothing new (2, Informative)

malus (6786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264503)

i guess i forgot to mention, too, that the Reviewers have to send the walkman back, undamagaed, unmolested, if they want to get interviews, etc.

Oh yeah right (0, Interesting)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264479)

People are really gonna buy a new Walkman every time they buy a CD. Great idea guys !

Re:Oh yeah right (3, Funny)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264490)

then you can take a look at each others walkman collection ;)

Re:Oh yeah right (1)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264495)

Kids. Reality Check. These are review copies. Not final versions. Read the fscking summary, never mind the article.

Not a Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264480)

Before long, some hacker will write a program to....

oh crap.

duh. (1)

gTsiros (205624) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264482)

Just clip the headphones' cables and input it to your soundcard...(yeah, i know the quality won't be perfect, but it will be ok)

this is really stupid... trying to "prevent"...

since they know they are losers from first hand, why do they just keep giving us these (stupid) challenges?

(what if we dissassemble the player and get the goddamn cd out of there, anyway)

i'm counting minutes until these songs appear on p2p

In other news... (1)

andyt (149701) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264483)

Slashot editors are not checking submissions to make sure they don't make sense.

Bad Idea (-1, Insightful)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264484)

That is, by far, one of the worst ideas I've heard of in a long time.

First of all, if you're going to make something *only* play out of a single player, do it RIGHT. Don't have the item on media that ANY CD player can use. Put it on something proprietary. Put it on something that can't be digitally extracted.

It seems like a waste of money to have to buy an ENTIRE PLAYER just to listen to a CD, but if they're going to do it, why not just encode the music onto flash ram, or a rom or something? That way, the device could be the size of a keychain.

The whole point of a CD is being able to play the same media on different devices. If they plan to limit that freedom, then at least take advantage of what you CAN do when you don't have that technical limitation.

Idiots.

Read the story!!! (2)

vidnet (580068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264510)

...in an effort to prevent reviewers from creating mp3s...

Reviewers don't even buy the cd, they usually get them from the record companies. The problem is rouge reviewers putting the music on the internet before the cd is released! This way, the reviewers can listen to the music and write their reviews as they otherwise would, but there's less of a chance that they'll put it on kaaza or whatever before the CD is available to the public.

Re:Read the story!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264572)

What are they going to build these walkmans out of? Titanium? I don't think so. How hard do you really think it will be to crack this thing open?

Re:Read the story!!! (2)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264633)

How hard do you really think it will be to crack this thing open?

Sure, crack it open if you want. Don't expect Sony to send any further preview copies after you've returned the remains of the first player.

Ironically, at that point, said reviewer would then have to got to Kazaa/Winmx to get further CDs for review!

Re:Read the story!!! (3, Funny)

xigxag (167441) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264600)

The problem is rouge reviewers putting the music on the internet

I hear ya brother! Those damn ladies' makeup magazine writers are the worst! Freaking Cosmo!! [thedent.com]

Oh.

Never mind.

Re:Bad Idea (2)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264520)

It seems like a waste of money to have to buy an ENTIRE PLAYER just to listen to a CD

Did you skip your reading lessons at school? This is for journalists only! Journalists don't buy anything, they receive CDs and in this case a walkman for free so that they can write reviews. Like for all reviews, be it music or software, you are not suppose to use the item in question for anything else than testing.

I think it is a neat idea to avoid journalists abusing their privileges.

Re:Bad Idea Actually I skipped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264568)

registering. I seem to be allergic to javascript.

Re:Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264592)

Here goes my piddling little amount of karma, but this has to be said:

Did any of the moderators who modded this up and thought to mark it "Insightful" actually read the article?

Not getting at the poster, but the comment does completely miss the point - I thought the whole idea of moderation was to keep things on track. Too often it seems to be a mechanism for ensuring that scum floats to the top, as moderators just "follow the herd"...

Re:Bad Idea (5, Funny)

Stephen VanDahm (88206) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264601)

"Put it on something that can't be digitally extracted."

8-tracks, baby!

Re:Bad Idea (2)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264625)

My above post should be modded back down, most likely due to it partly missing the point. (brainfart)

But not entirely. The main point of my post was that this is a Brittle system. When it fails, it fails miserably.

Having a CD that will work in ANY player being glued shut seems to be like having treasure in a treasure chest. When everyone knows where the treasure chest is, it's only a matter of time before it's picked open.

That's why I think it'd be better having it kept on some kind of memory medium. When you crack open the device, how many of the journalists are going to pop the CD directly into a CDrom and start ripping. On the other hand, how many of them are going to try to hardwire the memory to another device to try and digitally extract it :).

As funny as the thought of Music Journalists going to all those guys who rip ROMS might seem, the chances are pretty low.

Yes, yes, yes, blah blah *cough* wire cutters, etc.

Umm, umm, you could always make headphones with a chip on each earpiece that somehow modulate the receiving signal and feed it back to the player. Without the modulated feedback signal, it stops playing.

Yeah, yeah, it's killing a fly with an atom bomb. But if you're going to attempt to solve a problem, do it RIGHT.

One question (was Bad Idea) (2, Insightful)

zoccav (242377) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264637)

That is, by far, one of the worst ideas I've heard of in a long time.

How does the resource/effect ratio compares to say DRM?

Epic invested $3.99 and covered 95% of their area. DRM would be more like $3.99G / 97%.

Most geeks would love to crack this mom-and-pop security. Just for the fun of it. My first try would probably involve of three tiny needles. A second, a couple of mikes. A third,...

Most reviewers would just do the review and return the player afterwards.

IMHO Epic plays quite fair.

a tad too carried away... (2, Informative)

koldcuts (586372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264485)

this had me scared for a moment before i read and realize this is being done to albums that are being reviewed, not purchased by consumers. and what's to stop a critic from throwing the cd player on the floor in a violent manner to miraculously break it and reveal the precious intellectual property within?

Re:a tad too carried away... (1)

majestynine (605494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264551)

Probably the fact that the reviewers would have to return the discman and CD to Sony once they were done reviewing it. It would probably have tamperproof seals on the screws etc.

There would certainly be a clause in the big legal document they had to sign saying that if they broke or dissassembled the unit, they realise they would be sued into the ground.

Hey, yo! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264486)

Why was Slashdot so bloody slow all afternoon and evening yesterday?

not new... (2, Informative)

apidya (31789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264488)

why is this remarkable? record companies have been doing this for years?

if i recall correctly, emi distributed walkmans with copies of Radiohead's OK Computer album glued into them, back in 1997. and i belive this was by no means the first time the idea had been used.

the cost of several hundred (or even thousand) cheap cd walkmans is hardly going to eat into a multinational record companies bottom line.

Re:not new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264610)

Yeah, especially when consumers are the ones who pay for those few thousand cheap Walkmans(TM) anyway...

Nothing a low-tech smashing won't cure.. (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264489)

If applied with some care, the walkman could just as easily be broken off the disc. "oops, it fell ten stories down when the reviewer was listening to it while leaning out is office window having a smoke". Or am I missing something here?? Otherwise, just clip the headphone wire.. hook them up to plain old audio plugs, or a mini jack and off you go into a decent sound card.
I'd say the digital part has to be done differently by providing a player with the album stored in some sort of encrypted ROM chip, but even then.. sound is still sound and must be made audible at some point to be appreciated. That's where you can tap it, and make a plain MP3 out of it.
Sony are just making themselve impopular with this kind of practice. When will the big companies learn that the genie is out, it's unstoppable, and their business models just need adjustment???

Re:Nothing a low-tech smashing won't cure.. (2)

actiondan (445169) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264624)

The record company most probably demands that the players are returned to them intact after the review period. If one has been tampered with, broken or had the earphones cut off, they will know never to send a review copy to that reviewer again.

Roll up, roll up ... (2)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264491)

.... see the daring Pogue Mahone violate the DMCA (again) ...

the headphones are glued to the players too, to prevent any authorized output

Why not cut the headphone lead and solder a suitable connector onto the Walkman end?

Re:Roll up, roll up ... (2)

egghat (73643) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264534)

If they are not totally weird (which I'm not that sure ...) they want the diskman back after a few weeks. And then they will see who has 'manipulated' the device and who has not.

The NY times story doesn't mention, if Epic wants the deivces back, so my comment is just wild guessing.

Bye egghat.

Wire cutting (5, Insightful)

nick255 (139962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264492)

Ummmmm. I guess they must be assuming journalists are not engineers, as otherwise they could just cut the headphone wires and them connect them to their favourite input.

Re:Wire cutting (5, Insightful)

ChrisJones (23624) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264522)

Then when reviewer returns the walkman with cut wires, Epic Records can ream them for being naughty pirates.

Re:Wire cutting (3, Informative)

dietz (553239) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264612)

Then when reviewer returns the walkman with cut wires, Epic Records can ream them for being naughty pirates.

Uhm, generally you don't return promo copies of CDs. That's why can almost always find them (marked "NOT FOR RESALE") at your favorite used CD store. (Not the national chains, who often won't buy them, but at smaller local stores).

I doubt they'd make them return a CD player that had been glue shut, either. What good would it be to Sony if you can't even get it open? It would just be a lot of work for the reviewers and the label.

Re:Wire cutting (5, Funny)

mpe (36238) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264548)

I guess they must be assuming journalists are not engineers, as otherwise they could just cut the headphone wires and them connect them to their favourite input.

Thus making wire cutters illegal under the DMCA :)

Re:Wire cutting (5, Funny)

isorox (205688) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264576)

Thus making wire cutters illegal under the DMCA :)


I always use my teeth to strim wires - are they illegal too?

Re:Wire cutting (1)

shut_up_man (450725) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264570)

True... I'd probably melt the glue, or use a solvent... and then re-glue it afterwards, as it's unlikely they're going to examine it and go "HA! THIS IS DIFFERENT GLUE!".

Typo...? (1)

schepers (462428) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264493)

"...is not disseminating..."
I think you mean "...is now disseminating...". Wouldn't be very big news if the industry was failing to conform to a practice that they had never done before... like charging reasonable prices or paying the artist fairly.

In other news, several major book publishers are distributing reviewer copies of their books with the pages glued together. And paying Oprah to rave about it, so there's no fear that it won't do well.

Is it so hard to proofread these blurbs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264496)

"The New York Times (Free Blah-di-blah) is reporting that Epic Records, in an effort to prevent reviewers from creating mp3s or even playing the preview CD in anything they don't control,is not disseminating the new Pearl Jam and Tori Amos CDs inside Sony Walkman players that are glued shut."

Oh is if they are NOT disseminating music in walkmen that are glued shut, then nothing to worry about, right?

Other ideas to ensure they're not distributed (5, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264498)

Use those greeting cards that play a tune when you open them.

Pay Tori to personally visit each reviewer with a guitar and play her songs.

Distribute the songs in Ogg Vorbis format. (rimshot)

Re:Other ideas to ensure they're not distributed (2, Informative)

DominiqueChanet (251858) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264584)

Pay Tori to personally visit each reviewer with a guitar and play her songs.
mmmh... maybe you haven't thought about this, but Tori plays the piano, _not_ the guitar! It would be quite funny seeing her carrying around a whole piano though...

Re:Other ideas to ensure they're not distributed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264603)

No, you're missing the point, the idea is that if she plays the songs on a guitar instead of a piano, nobody can record the real version on a concealed pocket dictation machine, and then distribute them on the internet after she's left.

The whole point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264499)

is that the reviewers will be forced to sniff that glue while writing their pieces. Possibly the only way to get a positive comment out of them ;-)

That's gotta be a joke... (0, Offtopic)

RealUlli (1365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264500)

Already April 1st ?!?

Shit. Missed Christmas... ;-)

Cheers, Ulli

Wow! (4, Funny)

morie (227571) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264501)

I'm gonna start reviewing CD's. Can't make a living with my reviews, but sure can use the extra income from the unglued diskmans I sell.

Uhd (0, Troll)

fUllstAr (606835) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264502)

Their walkmans are scrap now. No wonder they need some money, eheh hu hoof.eef

And of course the headphones... (5, Funny)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264508)

...would just have to be glued to your ears to prevent someone else from listening to it.

low-tech could work ... (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264519)

Not having read the linked article, in pure /. tradition ...

Make the players pretty colors, with about 400 slightly different models to compare and collect. Make them super cheap and flimsy; it's not like your going use one of them anywhere near as much as a general purpose player.

And best of all, just use a crippled format or something. Tech support problems solved! "Um, sir, you're not allowed to open it up and put the CD in your computer ...

Environment (3, Insightful)

buzy buzy (594932) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264521)

I know they are only releasing a limited supply of these to journalists, but seams to me this is very environmentally unfriendly.

Don't think a Sting preview will be released this way.

Are there plans to reuse or recycle the returned CD walkmans?

really hard to circumvent? (1)

sdflkgfljdqshgjkqsfg (129027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264525)

Well I'm not an electronics engineer, but how hrd would it be to cut the headphone cord down the middle and hook up those two (left and right I assume) cables manually to a microphone, line it, noral stereo jack... well just about anything usefull to copy this cd?

Ok, so your headphones are [partly] useless but you get to copy the cd right?

Can someone in the know tell me if this doable? IS there a big loss? Is it just plain dumb?

Re:really hard to circumvent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264604)

Indeed, it is "just plain dumb." How, exactly, would the reviewer explain the snipped headphone lines when returning the unit to the record company?

Re:really hard to circumvent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264609)

Dude, cutting the wires and joining them to a connector is just about the simplest electronical operation there is. People all over the world figure out how to do it. You don't really need any tools except scissors to do it. 6-year-old kids can do it. And you're asking for electronics engineers to tell you if it's possible?!

First Celine Dion, now *this*... (1)

erik_fredricks (446470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264526)

Man, I thought the Celine Dion disc screwed up some boxes. Imagine what might happen if I jam this baby into my cdrom drive...

--

So don't review it (5, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264529)

Return the thing unreviewed then, siting 'technical difficulties'.

Presumably other artists' CDs are put through the reviewers' own systems, set up the way they like them. Just say a fair comparison is impossible without putting these new CDs through that same system.

Of course, if you're feeling vindictive, you could always slate them instead...

Cheers,
Ian

Re:So don't review it (1)

Sonicated (515345) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264582)

Return the thing unreviewed then, siting 'technical difficulties'.

That takes to much effort. Use a medium sized hammer to chip away at the CD player to reveal the CD. When they ask for the CD player back just reply "Oh. I thought it was a new type of case and threw it away".

Ignorance can be bliss.

Re:So don't review it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264587)

Yeah. No doubt the headphones are a pair of stock in-ear jobbies that sound make the audio sound like you're listening to a viola underwater. I can't stand those shitty things, personally, and I'm not an audiophille, let alone someone who spends all day listening to music.

Personally I'd find it quite funny to read a review along the lines of "Well it might have been a good CD, but the sound quality was so shit I couldn't hear anything. Tori Amos apparently has a fetish for screeching white noise and no bass. If thats your cup of tea, then you'll love this. Otherwise, try listening to a car with a loose fanbelt, you'll have more fun."

Yeah yeah, I'm feeling bitter today.

Ouch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264530)

I was walking along minding my business, when out of an orange colored sky
Flash, bam, alakazam, wonderful you came by, I was humming a tune,
drinking in sunshine, when out of that orange colored view
Wham, bam, alakazam, I got a look at you
One look and I yelled timber, watch out for flying glass
'Cause the ceiling fell in and the bottom fell out, I went into a spin
And I started to shout, I've been hit, this is it, this is it
I was walking along minding my business, when love came and hit me in the eye
Flash, bam, alakazam, out of an orange colored sky
Well, one look and I yelled timber, watch out for flying glass
'Cause the ceiling fell in and the bottom fell out, I went into a spin
And I started to shout I've been hit, this is it, this is it
I was walking along, minding my business, when love came and hit me in the eye
Flash, bam, alakazam, out of an orange, colored, purple stripes
Pretty green polka dot sky, flash, bam, alakazam, went the sky

WOW! I THOUGHT LOVE WAS MUCH SOFTER THAN THAT! (What a most disturbing sound)

How I feel about Jon Katz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264535)

I love you for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I'll give you my heart

I love you
And you alone were meant for me
Please give your loving heart to me
And say we'll never part

I think of you every morning
Dream of you every night
Darling, I'm never lonely
Whenever you're in sight

I love you for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I've given you my heart

instrumental interlude

I think of you every morning
Dream of you every night
Darling, I'm never lonely
Whenever you're in sight

I love you for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I've given you my heart

tinny sound (2, Informative)

nath_o_brien (608347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264536)

How can a music reviewer be expected to give a favourable review solely by listening to the said CDs on a Walkman?

All the Walkmans I've owned have given the music a really tinny sound - even the supposedly decent quality ones.

Even if they hooked up the output to a proper speakers, they still probably wouldn't get the quality you would get from a good stereo set up - which these guys would be used to.

Will these be collectors' items? (1)

erik_fredricks (446470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264537)

From the article:
This is not the first time prerelease music has received the glue treatment. Gil Kaufman, a freelance journalist in Cincinnati, said he owns a prerelease copy of Radiohead's 1997 album "OK Computer" that is glued into an Aiwa player -- an Aiwa analog cassette deck. That makes MP3 conversions a bit more difficult.

I'm surprised I haven't seen this on Ebay. Some diehard Radiohead fan would love it, even if just for the kitsch value...

--

This idea should be taken to it's logical end ... (5, Funny)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264539)

... by glueing the earphones to the ears of the reviewers. Disposable reviewers will be needed, though.

Re:This idea should be taken to it's logical end . (1)

EnderWiggin99 (84576) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264558)

Yeah, but they already DO that.

Sue the record industry (1)

bunaminenu (547940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264545)

if i were a musician, i would sue the record industry for preventing fans from hearing my music and for making that bad publicity. it's unbelieveble, no other industry is treating it's customers like pirats and criminals ...

Re:Sue the record industry (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264577)

no other industry is treating it's customers like pirats and criminals.

Well, another one springs to mind: the software industry.
But then I really am a pirate, arrr, matie!

Reminds me of Nintendo's tactics... (5, Interesting)

I Love this Company! (547598) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264546)

Back in the day of the original NES (and even today, I presume), Nintendo used to send a rep to the magazine reviewing the game, and he carried a system with the game bolted inside and sat there while the game was being reviewed, and the whole package was whisked away when the their time was up. Sounds like the record companies are taking a page from the gaming industry's playbook.

An even better idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264550)

Why not put all of the walkmans in a safe, lock it, throw away the key, put the safe in a rocket, fire it in to deep space, and then nobody will ever be able to listen to the music.

Glue... shmoo (2, Interesting)

fruey (563914) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264552)

Just the sort of reviewer that is going to rip to MP3 and share these CDs is going to have enough clue to break open the case / rewire those headphone connectors. This is all a publicity stunt to get the press to talk more about the two albums in question, and to get more "filesharing is bad" vibe into the press. Poor poor music industry losing to filesharing. They have to understand WHY we have no sympathy first.

They've done pretty well here though. How many of you vague Tori Amos fans knew she had a new album out before this article?

Can you imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264553)

...A Mosix cluster of these?

Hammer = Copyright Circumvention Device = Banned (5, Funny)

femto (459605) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264557)

So is hitting the walkman with a hammer an offence under the DMCA...?

Re:Hammer = Copyright Circumvention Device = Banne (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264583)

"So is hitting the walkman with a hammer an offence under the DMCA...? "

Not if the disk inside is Tori Bush..er, Amos.

Not the first time this has been done. (5, Informative)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264560)

This has been done before. In 1998, preview copies of Radiohead's album "OK Computer" were sent out in sealed cassette players. And in 2000, preview copies of "Kid A" were sent out in an encrypted format on Sony VAIO digital players.

More info: http://www.followmearound.com/press/083.html [followmearound.com]

So simple (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264561)

You dont even need to cut the wires and risk being discovered, you can use a pick-up coil to get the signal, or at the worst you could stick mics to the headphones. Ohh, and i hope they remembered to glue the screws on the back of the player, otherwise you could just take it apart, copy the disk and put it back together again.

I never really understood how you could review a song by britney spears any way. "Oops, I did it again, i crapped some music out my ass."?

Digital outputs? (1)

majestynine (605494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264562)

I'd laugh my ass off if the discmans that Epic were giving out had a digital output on the side that hadn't been plugged or covered up. Making digitally perfect copies would be even easier and would sound just as good as a CD rip.

However, as a second thought, those sorts of features only appear on the more pricey units, I have no idea if Epic would use them. Its a funny thought though.

Re:Digital outputs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264623)

No, it's not.

You gotta wonder (1)

TheGreatInsomniac (608893) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264565)

Why do they think that spending alot of money on cd players and then gluing them shut(ineffectivly at that), eliminating any chance of using them again, just to send to journalists is worth whatever they think they are losing just because the public hears it before they want them to? This is insanity!

Great!!! (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264569)

Now alcohol will be illegal under the DMCA, due to it now being a circumvention device. That should get the proles attention.

Jaysyn

Re:Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264595)

News just in under the DCMA the Universe has been taken to court for providing gravity.

self destruct mechanism (4, Insightful)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264575)

Now, they just need to develop something that destroys the disc, if you happen to force the cover open or remove the Headphone jack.

Re:self destruct mechanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264596)

They tried. But when they glued the disc to the drive it doesn't seem to work anymore.

They are still trying to find out why.

This is the stupidest thing I ever heard... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264586)

When are these people going to learn? As long as it can be heard by the human ear, it can be recorded. It's that simple. I KNOW IT'S NOT A DIGITAL COPY!! (The analog to digital conversion will cause loss of quality to a degree. The degree of loss depends on the equipment and skill of the person doing the conversion.) But honestly, do you really think someone who is downloading an MP3 quality file off the Internet using P2P software is going to care? I'd bet my bottom dollar 95% of the population wouldn't know the difference even if you told them.

Can you imagine.... (1, Redundant)

blakespot (213991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264588)

Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of Tori Amos's, all glued together, back to back?

Mmmmmm...

blakespot

Reviewing these CDs... (4, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264589)

So they are expected to review the CD's through headphones from a walkman?

Doesn't that just strike people as being stupid? How will they get a subjective review of the audio quality? Are the music companies trying to hide poor audio quality from the reviewers by making them review the music through sub-optimal equipment?

This is just a sad example of how paranoid the music companies have become...

No coincidence about the artists (2)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264591)

I don't think it is a coincidence that Tori Amos and Pearl Jam were targeted. Look at their past. Both have strong opinions about the recording industry. I bet they have pissed off enough executives, that this is the punishment.

The executives are probably hoping that the reviewers will be pissed off by the stupid restriction, and vent their anger in the reviews. That way, the executives can push more cooperative bands more effectively, since Tori Amos and Pearl Jam will be sidelined.

Whenever I hear about such acts of stupidity, I get more convinced that I should donate funds directly to the artists, and just get the music online.

NYT: Epic Records Takes Steps to Seal ... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264606)

September 16, 2002
Epic Records Takes Steps to Seal Its Newest Music
By CHRIS NELSON

The Epic Records Group, a unit of Sony Music, is approaching the sticky problem of prerelease music's being traded online with an even stickier solution.

Writers receiving review copies of two soon-to-be-released albums -- Tori Amos's "Scarlet's Walk" and Pearl Jam's "Riot Act" -- are finding the CD's already inside Sony Walkman players that have been glued shut. Headphones are also glued into the players, to prevent connecting the Walkman to a recording device.

By locking up the discs, Epic hopes to keep writers from converting the music to MP3's that can then be traded over the Net. But even a "glueman" player is unlikely to deter a diehard critic.

"I'm a pretty big Pearl Jam fan," said Bart Blasengame, a staff writer at Details magazine who was sent one of the contraptions with "Riot Act" inside. "I brought this discman home with me, and I found a way you could go in the back of the CD and, like, pop it open. So I got the actual disc out."

Mr. Blasengame said he had no intention of making MP3's . "At the same time, if I want to give it a proper review, I'm going to listen to it how I want to listen to it -- and in my stereo is where it sounds best," he said.

For several years, prerelease music has turned up online before it reaches stores, distributed without permission by journalists, radio employees, record company employees or other sources. This July, for example, a six-song sampler from Ms. Amos's upcoming album was shipped to writers the old-fashioned way. The songs soon appeared on file-sharing services like WinMX.

The Recording Industry Association of America blames Internet music-sharing for declines in CD sales, though proponents of MP3 trading dispute the group's arguments.

A Sony spokeswoman confirmed that the glued players were being used to combat piracy, but would not talk about their effectiveness or responses from writers.

This is not the first time prerelease music has received the glue treatment. Gil Kaufman, a freelance journalist in Cincinnati, said he owns a prerelease copy of Radiohead's 1997 album "OK Computer" that is glued into an Aiwa player -- an Aiwa analog cassette deck. That makes MP3 conversions a bit more difficult.

You nerds are missing the point! (0)

tundog (445786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264614)

Its not a technical problem to be solved here, rather a litigious one. Sony distributes these walkmans to reviewers and makes them sign a release that they won't tamper with the cd player. When they collect the CD player, they know if the wires have been cut, smashed with a hammer, etc. If its broke, its a breach of contract and an open and shut legal dispute. Effective answer to a (potentially) pervasive problem.

Even better idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4264616)

Make vinyl records out of chocolate, that way they would only play about 3 times before wearing out. At least you could eat them afterwards, though.

The future of music reviewing... (4, Funny)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264619)

"In an effort to prevent reviewers from creating MP3s or even playing the preview CD in anything they don't control, music labels are now disseminating a prewritten review of the CD, along with a bill for $17.99."

Reminds me of Johny Mnemonic... (1)

JPZ (42691) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264628)

"If they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude. I'm a very technical boy. So I decided to get as crude as possible. These days, though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to crudeness."

- from Johny Mnemonic by William Gibson

What's the problem? (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264630)

The article said the company is not disseminating the diskman glued shut. So if they're not doing it, why are people so upset? Seems that allowing the review copies to be freely disseminated is something Good.

What's that? You mean he meant is now disseminating? Oh, well, in that case, Flame On!

Ears, (2)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4264635)

So, if I'm a reviewer and I let someone else listen to the CD, they are violating the DMCA.

Therefore, their ears must be chopped off.

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